Columbia, MO

The 1935 Coca-Cola Bottling Company building in Columbia, Missouri now houses a baker and independent theatre

CJ Coombs
What used to be the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Columbia, Missouri.Photo byMe5000, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There's excitement to see an old building repurposed like the old Coca-Cola Bottling Company Building that was built in 1935 at 10 Hitt Street in Columbia, Missouri. In 2006, this building was added to the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

This building also used to be the Kelly Press Building. Today, you'll find the following businesses there (Ninth Street Videos closed):

Facing Hitt Street, this red brick building hasn't seen a lot of dramatic changes since 1935. The architectural style is Colonial Revival. This was one of the oldest bottling companies in the area. It also represents some of the earlier commercial history in Columbia. Imagine vehicles pulling into the garage opening to load up with bottles.

[B]y the late 1910s there were more than 1,000 Coca Cola bottling plants in the United States, 95% of which were locally owned and operated. (Source.)

Ed Roberson purchased the Columbia Coca-Cola Bottle Company in 1932. His father owned Coca-Cola franchises in Arkansas and Missouri. Roberson moved to Missouri from Arkansas. In 1935, he built the building on Hitt Street to house the bottling company which stayed there for 30 years. Robertson was active in both civic and public service organizations.

In 1936, there were two other bottling companies in Columbia: the Smith Beverage Company and the Whistle Vess Company.

While Roberson had the reigns of his bottling company, his wife, Florence, was the secretary-treasurer. She also worked at the plant as well as their daughter. In 1966, with the bottling company outgrowing the building on Hitt Street, it was relocated close to the edge of Columbia.

E.S. Brown Printing Company moved into the building after Roberson left, and then Kelly Press which is still in business but now at a different location.

What used to be an old bottling plant helped form history in Columbia. The building continues to support other businesses which also creates history moving forward.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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